Many said they were angry and disappointed with Mulaney’s decision to allow Chappelle to perform, despite his history of making anti-trans and anti-gay jokes.
“Have you ever heard about 12,000 people laugh at a transphobic joke, while you are a trans person in the audience who didn’t know that the transphobic comedian was going to make a surprise appearance on the John Mulaney show? Yes. wasn’t fun. fuck you DC’, one participant wrote:†
†[Chappelle] struck down on an already marginalized and institutionally abused community,” McAlear told BuzzFeed News. “It was embarrassing to see a respected man at his craft get so tacky and boomer-like.”
She added that the response to Chappelle’s set has been mostly positive, although she was pleasantly surprised to hear audible cries of disagreement afterward.
“It makes sense, unfortunately — it was the low-hanging fruit of a joke in a red state like Ohio,” McAlear said. “In the end he told the upset spectators to relax. The obvious grasp of trying to receive kickback and acting shocked that he received it… it was embarrassing††
Mulaney is currently on a national tour for the first time since making headlines for his very public divorce from ex-wife Anna Marie Tendler, who was the subject of many of his comedic routines. He began dating actor Olivia Munn shortly after their split and a stint in rehab, and last year the couple welcomed their first child together.
While Mulaney wasn’t making any anti-trans jokes himself last night, people pointed out that he has many fans from the LGBTQ community, including those who attended Friday’s show.